Architect chosen for Vikings stadium

Nickalas Tabbert

The architect who designed the stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts has been chosen to design the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced the $34 million contract Friday with HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, The Associated Press said.

"I promise we won't let you down," said Mark Williams, a principal with HKS and part of the architectural team that will design the Vikings stadium. "A few years from now, when we walk in there, it's going to be an absolutely incredible experience that will change people's lives in this state."

The firm was one of five from around the country that bid on the job, the Star Tribune reported. All those competing for the work have extensive experience building sports arenas and stadiums.

Lester Bagley, spokesman for the Vikings, said HKS was the most creative of five strong bidders and will design "a world-class facility."

Whether the $975 million stadium will have a retractable roof, window or wall, however, is unclear.

"We have to have it priced," Bagley said. "We have to know, 'How much does it cost to open the window or the roof or the wall?' But our goal is to have a retractable feature."

The Dallas and Indianapolis stadiums are two of the newest in the NFL, and both have retractable roofs as well as massive glass windows or walls that open.

Authority Chairwoman Michelle Kelm-Helgen says the stadium authority and the Vikings made the choice together.

Groundbreaking on the new stadium is expected next year, with a goal of opening by 2016.